Dropshipping Store Start Up Cost: How Much We Spent to Start our New Store

A lot of people have asked how much money do you need to spend in other expenses to start a dropshipping store.  Off the top of my head it was never that much, but I figure there must have been small things I missed, so during our 30 Day New Store Challenge I wrote down everything we spent starting up our new store.  Here is a complete breakdown including building the website, design, logos, phone costs, advertising, buying the domain name and other things we didn't think about.

dropshipping store

Domain Name:

You can either buy it through Shopify for $9 a month or you can buy it through whatever host you currently use for your other websites. If you already have a Godaddy or Namecheap account with other domains, use that. If this is your first website, go through Shopify.  

Total Cost: $9 (yearly)

Website Hosting:

In Anton's course he recommends using Shopify as he's tried all of the other platforms and hands down agrees that Shopify is the best. Bigcommerce is good for items with over 120 variants/tons of options, but either way, just go with what works. My friend Chris, who partnered with me to start one of our stores recently tried to move to Woocommerce hosted by Wordpress but it was terrible.

Shopify is $29 a month, but if you use this link and you get 20% off all monthly plans to help get you started. 

Total Cost: $23.20-$29.99 (monthly)

Business Email Address:

You can pay $4 a month for a business email hosting either through your domain name provider, or through Google for Work.  Or you can do what I do and use the free email forwarding service through your domain to forward to your gmail account, and use that. 

Inside Anton's course, there is a new module that shows you up to setup your business email address for free.

Example: Setup to forward to and reply from there.

Total Cost: Free to $4 (monthly)

Logo Design:

I get all of my logos made at which you guessed it, is $5.  Actually it's $5.50 now as they raised their price, but still a great deal. The trick? Go to this Fiverr Logo link search for "logos" then sort by highest rating first, and find one that delivers within a couple of days on average and has examples that you like.

Hint: I usually don't pick the #1 rated seller as they often take over a week to deliver, instead I choose someone in the top 10 with fast turnarounds.

Cost: $5.50

Business Phone Number:

For my first store I just used a free Google Voice number which I would recommend. The only downsides to it are it only works for Americans and you can only get one number.  Other options include, getting a cheap prepaid cell phone and using that as a business number.  Or using something like Grasshopper (Here's $100 in free credit for Grasshopper) or a Skype number which is $30 for a year. 

I personally use one number for Skype and one for Grasshopper when I'm in Thailand but now that my business is grown I've hired someone in the US off of oDesk to answer calls for me full time. But when you're just starting out, take the calls yourself, or even just let them go to voicemail and call them back when you have time.

Cost: Free-$30 (yearly) 

LLC or Sole Proprietorship:

Since i'm American  I just started my first store for free under my name.  Skip this section if you are a U.S. Citizen and have a Social Security Number just start the business under your own name. For my new store I started with Larissa, I decided to start an LLC which is a Limited Liability Company since I'm now making over six figures from my online business. 

I went with My USA Corporation because they were being used by a lot of international members on Anton's Private Member Forums and came recommended.  I chose Wyoming for the same reason, and because they have no sales tax and no state income tax.  I paid full price for my LLC but now have a $25 off code I can share with you guys.

For Sole Proprietorships: (US Citizens)

To get an EIN: "Apply for an EIN
To get a tax exempt state resellers for California: Register for a Permit
If you don't live in California Google: "Your State + Resellers Certificate" 

Total Cost: Free

For LLCs: (Non-Americans)
To get an LLC go through My USA Corporation and select your state. I chose Wyoming.

To get your EIN as an LLC use the same link as above it's easy and free.
To get your resellers certificate you can either do it through MY USA Corporation or you can google your state and resellers certificate like above. This is a lot more complicated than getting your EIN but you need it to be able to get wholesale pricing from your suppliers without paying tax.  

For Wyoming, I was used my registered agent through My USA Corp and my mailing address in Thailand to get my resellers certificate. 

Total Cost: $329 + $99 a year


Anton gives a bunch of different ways to get visitors and traffic to your website and advanced ways to get sales. However, when you first start your store, 90% of your customers will come directly from paid ads. You'll eventually wean yourself off of paid ads and get more organic traffic from other sources, but the first month, just pay for the ads, especially since both google and amazon give you free credit to start off.  

We got our first sales before our free credit ran out, but just in case, I would budget an additional $100 as a buffer.

Edit: There are no longer free credits to start, so you'll just have to use $100 of your own money to run ads. The good news is, as long as you have followed everything in Anton's course exactly, I've never met anyone who hasn't gotten their first sale before spending their first $150-$200 or so in ads. 

For Google Shopping/Adwords:  $75 in Free Google Credit
For Amazon Ads: $75 in Free Amazon Credit

Total Cost: $100

Other Stuff:

We also started a Pinterest Account, facebook page, installed the Shopify product reviews app, Inspectlet, Google Analytics, and some other random stuff, but these were all free and optional.  When you first get started you should just follow Anton's course exactly and do the bare minimum that he suggests so you don't over complicate things.  

For my first store I have Trust Guard, Aftership and a bunch of other paid apps, but when I didn't install those until after a few months of making money from my store and haven't installed them on our new store yet.

Bookmark this post and come back to my recommended resources page after you've made your first couple of sales.

Anton's Course: 

The biggest upfront expense is going to be your time and education.  If you try to do this on your own you will end up wasting months and months of spinning your wheels and wasting your time. I've met a bunch of people who have tried to start dropshipping stores piecing together free information found online and 99.9% of them have been unsuccessful mainly because there are so many little things that are easy to miss if you haven't taken a full training course and learned from someone step by step. It's almost like finding 100 pieces of free recipes online that you try to fit into the right order to bake a cake when you've never had someone show you around the kitchen. 

I highly recommend taking Anton's course because it worked for me, it worked for Larissa, it worked for my friends Chris and Elaine in California, it worked for Ben Finnigan who is now living in Thailand as well, it worked for literally a hundred people who I have now met in person after interacting with them on Anton's forums and helping each other out answer questions.  

If you want to be successful with a dropshipping store, sign up for Anton's Drop Shipping Training Course and I promise you that as long as you put in a sincere effort, you will make your first sale and have a profitable location independant dropshipping store in around 2 months instead of wasting half a year or longer on your own.

Let Anton guide you step by step to a profitable dropshipping store.

What's inside the course?

Anton basically walks you through and holds your hand step by step throughout the process from finding a niche, to researching your competitors, to building a master list of suppliers, to creating a demo store, getting approved by suppliers, launching the real store, getting traffic and making sales.  

You also get access to the private member forums which has a strong community of successful store owners as well as people just starting out who are asking questions.  Best of all you also get access to Anton himself through the forums and by email to ask him any questions, as well as access to my thread on the forums where I documented exactly what I did when I started my first store. If you think this post has a lot of info, that first one is worth $5,000 easily as I openly documented the entire process of starting my first store which now makes $400,000 a year in sales. 

Total Profit: 

Up to $4,000 a month per store you open, remember since these stores are considered semi-passive income and the customer service can be outsourced, you can start multiple stores as I have once you've gone through the process of setting one up.  

Get started and Sign up using this link to get the following bonuses:
  • Free access to the eCommerce Design Training Course
  • Free access to the "Insiders" video series with case studies from successful members
  • Free access to the 2014 Retreat Video Presentations 
  • TWO Invitations to the Next Annual DSL Retreat
  • BONUS: My Jump Start to Success Course ($249 value)

Cost for Anton's Course: $297 a month for four months, or $997 upfront. 

Total Costs Summary:

Aside from signing up for the course, you should budget an additional $596 to get your business running, your store completely finished, your advertising running and enough traffic to get your first sale which will usually pay for the entire process within the first week or two.

If you are American you and skip the LLC for now and get started for only $268 total. 

There is absolutely no reason and no excuses on why you shouldn't start your own online store today. Larissa and I have already made $1,215.99 in profit with our new store that we just started less than two months ago.  This is our actual spreadsheet that we use for accounting.  Since I had already paid for Anton's course and it was a one time expense, making this new store with the same knowledge was essentially free.  Now Larissa's already talking about making another store once this one is automated.  

So in summary, for less than $200 you can start your dropshipping store after signing up for the dropshipping course

I sincerely wish everyone the best of luck with their own businesses. With a little bit of hard work, the proper guidance and the right tools, anyone can run a successful online business.  

Check out my Recommended Resources for everything that I personally use and my Start Here page which I originally wrote as an open letter to my friends and family when I started making my first sales and knew wholeheartedly the system worked.

Keep in touch:

Warm Regards,

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Post a Comment

  1. Johnny,

    In regards to Google advertising expenses, how fast does $100 get used up when your site first goes live? Do you continue investing in Google ads if your not getting an acceptable return or conversions? Thanks.

    Nelson Rodriguez

    1. Hey Nelson, it all depends on the niche you choose, which is why Anton talks about researching your competition so much in his course. For some products clicks are over $1 which eats up your starting credit in just a few days. While some of my niches only cost 10 cents per click, which meant that my starting credit lasted a few weeks and got me my first few sales before it ran out.

      I keep an eye out for conversions every other week and if something isn't making positive financial return, I either lower my bids for it or remove ads for it entirely.

    2. There are many options to choose for forming a company on myusacorporation. Which are required? Do I need these:
      EIN for Non-US Persons $ 99.00
      LLC Operating Agreement $ 99.00
      Certified Copy of Articles of Organization $ 49.00
      Registered Agent Service $ 99.00

    3. Harris - Just get the basic LLC and the Registered Agent Service. Nothing else is required. Not sure about the EIN for Non-US Persons one.

  2. Hey Johnny,

    Do you think a blog (Affiliate Marketing) is the best way to start then next is build a drop shipping business?


    1. Hey e-three I think dropshipping is the best way to start. It's a lot easier to conceptualize a $100 chair being worth $100 and selling it for $100 than it is to do that with a digital product.

      I would recommend to most people to start a dropshipping store first, then go into affiliate marketing for long term scalability.

    2. Thanks for the updating. I appreciate it.

  3. Hi Johnny, I have just joined Anton's course this afternoon. I've made it through a few videos already and working on my niche selection. My question is where do I find the bonuses that you offer above for joining with your link? Thanks, Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie, good to see you inside the course! Thanks for using my link when joining. You should get an email with access to the forums a few days after signing up, and then access to the Jump Start course a few days after that. Let me know if you don't, or just email support and they'll take care of it.

  4. Hey Johnny,

    So I am seriously considering signing up for Antons course. Ive attempted to go through the set up myself but I am running into road blocks with setting up my LLC and getting the proper licensing to get started. I was curious before I go through with purchasing the class, does he provide sufficient information in the tutorials on this?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Genevie, glad you are thinking about signing up for Anton's course. He doesn't have a specific module on LLC's but does talk about how to get started and inside the member forums there is a TON of info from the other students who have done it, including my own progress thread where I outlined step by step what I did.

      And best of all, if you get stuck, there will be others to help which you don't get when you're doing it on your own. Hope to see you inside

      I'm sure you'll end up saving a TON of time and maybe even some money by signing up and not doing it on your own.

  5. Hi Johnny, I've spent the last few days watching your vids and reading your posts. I want to start the DSL course this weekend, I just wanted to ask if it's possible to run from Korea. I'm English and living here.. Would it be possible to have a bank account in America and do everything form Korea? Thanks for your posts Johnny

    1. Hey glad you've been enjoying the videos and posts. I just updated this post for you:

  6. Thanks for sharing this. This is great post.

  7. Now Wyoming has a sales tax of 4%.
    So after I registered a sales tax id with the Wyoming state for resales certificates, will I need to declare my sales tax?
    I will only collect taxes when my customer wants to ship goods to an address in Wyoming?

  8. Hi John.
    Youmentioned in your article above that "cost for Anton's Course: $297 a month for four months, or $997 upfront" but whn I click on the link, I get $1297 discounted price?

    1. Hey Theo, the price has gone up a bit since 2015, but he's also added a lot more content so it's worth the extra $300. I'll update the price above to reflect.

  9. This is really an excellent blog as well as its content.

    Accounting Firms in Toronto

  10. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information.

    Accounting Firms in Toronto


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